It’s tax time! Top 5 missed tax deductions for homeowners

Contributing writer: Carmen Thorpe–– As the crunch time for taxes approaches us –April 15th– make note of some of the great tax breaks out there, just for being a homeowner! We’ve all seen the ads on TV that talk about “getting billions back …” , so what are some of the opportunities to maximize your tax return. For starters check your receipts and count your charitable donations, student loan interest and major medical expenses. Here are the top 5 overlooked tax deductions for homeowners– according to the IRS:

  • Home mortgage interest
  • Sales tax paid on your home
  • Deductible real estate taxes
  • Mortgage insurance premiums
  • Some energy–efficient mprovements

Click on the IRS link above to read more about each section listed in-depth. You can also click here to see what else you may have missed on your taxes according to huffingtonpost and here is another site –– that offers some great insight too! And always consult with a professional tax return preparer to answer your tax questions.

How to Throw a Last-Minute Labor Day Party

Photo via

Photo via

Do you suddenly have the urge to throw an “End of Summer” party?  If the mood strikes, you don’t need a lot of time to plan.  Some of the best parties are thrown together last minute.  All you need are friends, food, and an open mind.

First, you need a guest list.  For a last-minute get together, it’s important to remember that there’s a chance that some people may already have other plans.  Pick a smaller group of people that all know each other so you don’t have to spend too much time planning “get to know you” activities.

Second, you don’t need to worry too much about decorations.  Just figure out where you want the majority of the party to take place, clean it up a little, and ta-da!  The party area is ready.

Third, have your guests bring side dishes or desserts so you don’t have to spend too much time cooking.  This is also good if you have guests with food sensitivities.  You should also pick an easy-to-make main course such as burgers or chicken.  Items like that are usually on sale on holiday weekends, too.   To cut down “beverage” costs, serve a “signature cocktail” or have a “signature drink,” such as a beer that you like.  Tell your guests what you’re planning to serve.  Let them know if they’d prefer something else, they can bring it and you’ll leave room in the cooler or refrigerator.

That’s it!

What are your Labor Day plans?  Do you have any go-to’s for throwing a quick get-together?

By Adrianna, LivingFirst Contributor